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BrainDance - Teaching the Body Hemispheres through Dance

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BrainDance is a whole brain and body warm up that explores 8 patterns of movement that we develop naturally from infancy. The 8 patterns were designed in a movement warm up series developed by Anne Green Gilbert.



BrainDance Pattern 4&5:

Upper/Lower and Body Side


Upper/Lower and Body Side Our bodies are broken into 4 hemispheres. The Upper Body (head, arms, hands, shoulders and torso), Lower Body (hip, legs, knees, feet), the Right Side and the Left Side. It’s important as dancers that we know how to move each hemisphere independently of the others. These movement patterns present numerous benefits.







Upper/Lower and Body Side Activity

Sit on the floor and hug your legs we are going outside to build a Snowman!

What are some items you need to wear on your upper body?

- Hat

- Sweater

- Coat

- Scarf

- Gloves

Stretch each part of your body as you “put on” each item on your right side and your left. Then grab your toes and slide them out and say “Let’s go build our snowman! But Oh No! It’s still cold what else can we put on?”

Now think what can go on your Lower Body?

- Snow Pants

- Fuzzy Socks

- Snow Boots

- Ice Skates

Like your upper body stretch and wiggle each part of your lower body as you “put on” each item on your right or left side.


Body Hemisphere Band!


Grab two Egg Shakers for both hands. Then attach some Jingle Bells to your ankles. Now move your arms and shake your eggs as you explore different port de bras of your upper body. Then march, tip toe walk, and kick your lower body. Now try making music with just your right side and then with just your left side! 


You have a Body Hemisphere Band! 





BrainDance Master Class

In the upcoming BrainDance Master Class I will be sharing numerous tactile activities you can include in your classrooms from solo stretches like the one mentioned above, to partner activities to help our dancers learn how to appropriately touch others. I will also share some of my favorite props that can enhance our dancer's tactile development!


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